Williams cruises to victory

In a tournament where the women's draw is providing some early upsets, Serena Williams countered with the thoroughly predictable, demolishing Frenchwoman Alize Cornet to canter into the quarterfinals of the Brisbane International.

The tournament favourite has started 2013 where she left off in 2012, finding imperious touch and proving more than a few classes above Cornet, who dashed about Pat Rafter Arena all night but wasn't in the contest from the opening game, where Williams flexed early muscle.

Williams touched 200km/h with some of her serves as she completed a regulation shift, defeating Cornet 6-2 6-2 and moving on to face either countrywoman Sloane Stephens or Swede Sofia Arvidsson in the quarters.

She dished out six aces, barely raised a sweat and was right in the zone, giving Cornet no chance. With Maria Sharapova out of the event with a collarbone injury, only a semi-final with world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka looks as if it will stand between the American and another WTA title.

Tellingly, the signs for the Australian Open look menacing. Williams won Olympic gold, Wimbledon and the US Open in a stunning 2012 and hasn't missed a beat in her first few hit-outs in Australia.

The summer of tennis is young but already Williams has drawn a clear line in the sand.

The story Williams cruises to victory first appeared on The Age.

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